1993 ProgressWithoutPeopleNewTechnol

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  • (Noble, 1993) ⇒ David F. Noble. (1993). “Progress Without People: New Technology, Unemployment, and the Message of Resistance." Charles H. Kerr Publishing.

Subject Headings: Luddism, Neo-Luddite, Economic History.


Cited By



Book Overview

Cultural Writing. Labor History. In this ground-breaking study, newly available from Charles H. Kerr, scientific historian David F. Noble draws valuable parallels between our era of burgeoning technology and the technological advances of the industrial revolution. Proponents of technology during both eras, says Noble, argued that technological advancement was an essential, unstoppable force that would be inherently beneficial to humanity. Noble's counter-argument looks at the human costs of unchecked technological growth, along the way re-examining and redefining the meaning of Luddism.

Back Sleeve

Is there anything in common between the age of automation now upon us and the first industrial revolution long ago (circa 1790-1840)? Yes. Both surged ahead with technical progress and production, and eliminated jobs without jobs for the workers. Both claimed that technological progress was inevitable and would automatically put things right. In this respect, the age which first established factories and the age with automates them are alike.

We know that the job-killing of the late 18th and early 19th centuries hurt both the cottage workers, and the communities in which men and women lived and which depended on them, and a system of production that extended far beyond people like handloom weavers. We know that jobs in the new mechanized industry, to compare with the old, did not multiply for a generation. We know that the workers defended themselves by direct attacks on the new looms and machines intended for factory use. These movements came to be known as Luddism.

It is this subject area that David F. Noble goes to immediately in order to provide a detailed analysis of the effect of automation in its mechanized and computerized forms. As a historian of technology, he knows, for example, how history has been distorted so that the term Luddite can be used to target any who try to save their jobs or control the condition of life in their immediate work areas, on industrial, office, retail or service jobs.

--Eric Hobsbawm



 AuthorvolumeDate ValuetitletypejournaltitleUrldoinoteyear
1993 ProgressWithoutPeopleNewTechnolDavid F. NobleProgress Without People: New Technology, Unemployment, and the Message of Resistance1993
AuthorDavid F. Noble +
titleProgress Without People: New Technology, Unemployment, and the Message of Resistance +
year1993 +